State Bank of India's new rule requiring savings account holders to maintain a minimum balance of Rs 5,000 has drawn sharp criticism from some Rajya Sabha MPs, who have urged the government to intervene in the matter.
The bank is set to raise the monthly average balance (MAB) requirement to Rs 5,000 for branches across six metro cities from April 1, imposing fines on account holders who fail to do so. The move is expected to affect more than 31 crore account holders.
KK Rageshin, a CPI(M) MP in the Rajya Sabha has argued the move is aimed at resolving the bank's financial problems at the expense of the poor.
"SBI being the largest bank in the country, other banks would also impose such charges and that would affect depositors," The Hindu reported him as saying. "This is not going to affect the rich... The poor have opened accounts, they are doing digital transactions after the government said so. You are penalising them for obeying the government."